Rib stitching and taping the lower right wing, turtle deck mid bulk head flange

December 30, 2011

Today I spent most of the day simply rib stitching the lower right wing. The long rib took about 40 minutes to complete where each smaller rib took about 20 minutes with breaks for my sore fingers it took me most of he day. After the stitching was completed, I started to tape the top of the wing’s ribs and spar. After all that was done I decided to work on the turtle deck some more. I used my wooden cut out of the mid section of my mold and I traced the correct location of the bulkhead while it was installed on the fuse. I then covered the wooden cut out with plastic for a releasing agent and held everything in turtle deck with straps. I laid in 2 layers of 5.8 oz 282 carbon graphite bi-weave and let it sit overnight. In the morning I removed the wood which release fairly easily and trimmed it up. And What do you know it fit perfectly. I will need to lay at least one more layer in there to stiffen it up a bit but I am happy with the results.

Time spent today 10 hours
Total time spent 1024 hours


Covering the lower right wing

December 29, 2011

Yesterday and today I worked on covering the lower right wing. I started by installing anti-chaffe tape on the the ribs and I double checked all the push pull tubes and bearings to make sure I didn’t forget anything. I then pre-glued all the edges that I was going to stick the bottom fabric to and then laid the fabric on just like the top wings. I trimmed the extra fabric off and then stuck the fabric into the dried yet tacky glue and then ironed it down. Once every thing was ironed down I added glue to all the pre-glued areas I just ironed. Once everything was dry I ironed it down to 250 deg F. After it was ironed I cut diagonals on the lower wing plywood inspection hole and ironed the fabric to the shape. The diagonals relieved the stress so that the fabric could take the shape of the square cut out.

The next day I glued the top fabric on rinse and repeat like the lower side. After all was dry I ironed it down to 250 deg F then 300 and finally 350 (both sides). I marked out all the rib stitches making sure to avoid the control tubes and then pre-punched them (both sides). Next I installed the rib reinforcing tape on both sides. I had just enough time to rib stitch one of the aileron bay ribs. Did I also mention I have been battling a head cold all week I’m pretty wiped so I will probably head to bed.

Time spent 12 hours
Total time spent 1014 hours

Lower wing sanding and final assembly, making a carbon fiber turtle deck

December 28, 2011

Sorry for 2 week no post but i have been working on things. I have been sanding the clear coat on the lower wings with 320 open coat to smooth them out and to provide some grip for the glue. I then final installed the the lower wing control rods. Because small amount of clearance between the 90 deg bell crank control rod bearing bolt and the drag wire I had to install one of the control rod bearing bolts upside down for proper clearance of 1/4″ I used a castellated nut and cotter pin which proved to be a pain the ass to install under the I-strut wooden sheet panels.

I have been toying with building a carbon fiber turtle deck for awhile so I decided I was going to do that. I thought for awhile I could build it out of 1 layer of 282 (5.6 oz graphite) and 1 layer of 5.6 oz fiberglass but it came out too flimsy so I added yet another later of 282 and 5.6 oz fiberglass. Unfortunately it doubled the weight and now the skin weighs 3.25 lb which is the same as 0.025 2024T3. I probably could have saved some weight by using less layers and instead 2 total layers and some nomex however that stuff is expensive. The second layer really helped stiffen the skin up
Anyway I used this simple aluminum form made from particle board and 0.025 2024T3. I sprayed several layers of really cheep aerosol hair spray like Aqua Net super extra hold to keep the epoxy from sticking to the aluminum. As it turns out the higher the hold the better the anti-stick quality of the hairspray for molds.

Time spent 20 hours
Total time spent 1002 hours

Elevators and horizontal stabilizers rib and finishing tapes

December 12, 2011

Roll up post for the last two days. After I got the rib stitching completed I started in on the rib tapes and finishing tapes. I cut and started all the one side of tapes after I was done I finished the gluing the rest of the tapes. I flipped the surfaces over and rinse and repeat. Now on the finishing tapes, which are a little more complicated, I worked for several hours getting them to curve around the radius. I had a little order issue the the trim tab cutout it will be fine, but maybe not quite as clean as I hoped. besides this isn’t a show plane its a go plane. Anyway here are the photos for the day. So the stabilizers and elevators are covered and ready for final ironing and then some brush coats of the Eko-Fill.

Time spent 10 hours
Total time spent 982 hours

Final Clear coat on the lower wings, Rib stitching the horizontal tail and elevators, eko fill on the upper wing

December 9, 2011

Yet another roll up post, I have been bad at not updating daily what I have been doing sorry! I was able to get the second brush coat on the upper side of the upper wing on the 7 dec after that I did the second coat of clear coat on the bottom side of the lower wings. The next day I was able to flip the lower wings over and get the clear done on that side too (8 dec). Last night (9 dec) was able to complete the rib stitching on one of the horizontal stabilizers and the elevators.

Time spent 10 hours.
Total time spent 972 hours

Breather tube and coating the upper wing with Eko-Fill

December 6, 2011

I finished off the breather tube install just to realized I will probably take it back out to make covering the bottom of the fuselage easier, oh well. Anyway here is the photo.

The last two days I have been working on the upper wing eko-fill. I started by ironing the tapes to make sure they were down. I then masked off everything I didn’t want painted. I then vacuumed the wings to get the big particles off, followed by the eko-clean and rinsing as showing the stewart’s manual. I then brushed the first coat and the next day I finished the bottom side of the top wing with the second brush coat so 1 cross coat. I have decided that I will never use terry towels again because they shead little balls of cotton on the taps and that gets into the eko fill and I you have to sand it off later, not hard to do but annoying. So I switched to jersey towels and they don’t shed and work just as good. So anyway I finished cleaning the upper side of the upper wing and brushed the eko-fill first coat on the wing to let dry overnight.

Time spent 10 hours
Total time spent 962 hours

Fuselage sheet metal

December 3, 2011

A roll up of several days work I measured and cut and folded the left and right fuselage side panels. Since the side panels were installed already and had the nut plates in place. I used my hole transfer tools to drill new holes. The right side panel came out better than the left but with some careful coursing I was able to make the panel work. I may still redo the left panel but only time will tell. The bottom panel needed to be drilled for screw holes along with new holes for the new panel brackets. Also I spent quite a bit of time notching the panel to clear the spar brackets.

I tried the Kimball sheet metal screw trick and it worked, but I saw it starting to break down in the near future and the screws stripping so I decided to install #8 nut plates.

With some feedback from Stuart on post covering of this fuselage with the set back angles on the stringer it noted that the stringers looked like two bumps because the covering sagged between. I thought I would fix that by adding a piece of sheet metal bridged between the two stringers. This is two fold because I also need to make sure that my torque tube doesn’t touch the fabric either if the fabric sags between by more than 1/4 to 1/2 inch I will be contacting. So the sheet metal just made sense. I made mine out of 0.032 6061T6 and screwed it to the stringers.

Time spent 8 hours
Total time spent 952 hours